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New Mental Health Support Guide Launched For Military Personnel

The booklet gives advice on how to identify signs that someone may be having difficulties and suggests ways of offering support.

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A new guide has been launched to help armed forces personnel spot and support someone struggling with their mental health or considering suicide.

The booklet, launched by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Samaritans, gives advice on how to identify signs that someone may be having difficulties, suggests ways of offering support and gives information on where help can be found.

It also covers how to better understand the complexity of suicide and how to know when to intervene and support someone struggling with their mental health.

All military personnel and reserves will have access to either a hard copy or digital version of the booklet.

Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson said: "Mental health issues can affect anyone and I want to ensure no one in our military suffers in silence. It is vital that service personnel know where to turn to in times of crisis, and this guide will raise awareness of the support available.

"By helping our people to spot the early signs that someone may be struggling, we give them the best chance of a full recovery."

Minister for Defence People and Veterans Tobias Ellwood said:

"While military mental health continues to be slightly better than the general population, we’re committed to ensuring that those who need help are able to get the support they need.

The MoD says the number of military personnel who take their lives is below rates for the general population.

Last week, military charity SSAFA reported an increase in calls from veterans and serving troops, with many concerned about debt and suicidal thoughts.

In February, the Defence Secretary announced the establishment of a 24-hour Mental Health Helpline for serving personnel and their families, funded by the MoD and run by the charity Combat Stress.

You can contact Samaritans any time on 116 123 or the Military Mental Health Helpline can be called on 0800 323 4444.